See Berlin in a different light

Berlin gas lamps

Everyone knows that Berlin's electric, but when night starts to fall, it does things the old-fashioned way.

Because although there's a good chance you've never really noticed, much of the city is still lit by gas.

In fact, with approximately 39,000 such streetlights, it's the largest metropolitan area anywhere to retain this form of illumination. An incredible statistic meaning that every night, more than half the world's existing gas street lamps cast a glow across Berlin. 

Berlin gas lamps

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Perhaps surprisingly, most are located in the former west. There are five basic designs, from 19th century lanterns to 1950s roadside lights that closely resemble their modern electrical eqivalents (above). Amazingly, the most recent model was created and installed as late as 2000.

Call us crazy (or just overly romantic), but we'd swear their mellow yellow glow is far lovelier than the electric equivalent.

Now, however, their future is threatened, with Berlin's Senate already replacing many old lamps and planning to leave just a handful of gaslights in place.

Berlin gaslight - the city is still lit primarily using gas

Campaigners are fighting to save what remains of gaslit Berlin, but sadly, its future looks bleak.

So as you walk the streets at night, gaze in awe at something unique: a living museum of soft city light that hasn't changed in over a century.

Berlin gas lamps come in a variety of designs and styles

Find out more about Berlin's gas street lamps and the bid to save them here


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